Sunday, December 07, 2014

Cardinal Burke got his wish - Pope Francis addresses the issues head on.

Remember when Cardinal Burke said he wished the Pope would intervene, that he would speak out about what was being discussed at the synod?

He did.  He also put the rumor to rest that Cardinal Burke was demoted because of his outspokenness during the synod proceedings:
Pope Francis has denied that removing American Cardinal Raymond Burke as head of the Vatican’s highest court was a “punishment” for his outspokenly conservative views at a recent summit of bishops, saying instead he wanted a “smart American” to serve as patron of the Order of Malta. 
“It is not true that I removed him because of how he had behaved in the synod,” Francis said. 
The pontiff said that the move was part of a broader restructuring of the Vatican bureaucracy that had been decided well before the October 5-19 synod of bishops on the family. The reason he waited until after the synod to make it official, he said, was so that Burke could still participate in the meeting as the head of a Vatican department. - Crux

Works for me.

The Holy Father also shed some light upon his concern for the pastoral care of gay Catholics, poignantly explaining:
“Nobody mentioned homosexual marriage at the synod, it did not cross our minds,” the pope said. Rather, “the synod addressed the family and the homosexual persons in relation to their families, because we come across this reality all the time in the confessional: a father and a mother whose son or daughter is in that situation.” 
He said that this “happened to me several times in Buenos Aires. We have to find a way to help that father or that mother to stand by their son or daughter.” - Crux
Deacon Kandra posted more clarifications here.

I'm just speculating here, but I'm willing to guess the Holy Father might not agree with Cardinal Burke that gay relatives should not be included at family Christmas gatherings.  Although the latest Argentine interview should teach us not to assume we know what the Holy Father is thinking, as well as to avoid jumping to conclusions regarding his actions.  It's clear that recent events - including the  so-called 'sacking' of the Swiss Guard commander, wasn't what the media made it out to be.
He also denied sacking the Commander of the Swiss Guards, Daniel Anrig, as the Italian and international media reported recently. He explained that Anrig’s term of office had actually ended two months after his election as pope but, not knowing the situation well, he asked him to stay on until further notice. Last July they agreed he would bow out at the end of the year, as it was time for a renewal. “He’s an excellent person, a very good Catholic, and a man who has an excellent family,” he added. - America

Looks to me as if pop-Catholic social media deserves a failing grade on accurate reporting regarding Pope Francis.


  1. What's funny is that Cardinal Burke has denied being punished, the Holy Father has denied the His Eminence was punished, and yet people say he was punished.

    1. I know - talk about conspiracy theories - some entities want us to think that there are sinister motives at work.

  2. I think that being sent to Malta would be almost like going to Heaven for someone like Cardinal Burke. If that was a "punishment", I would love to see what the rewards are.

    1. I agree - perhaps he will be a sort of unofficial global ambassador for the Holy See. If the Holy Father wanted to silence or punish him - he certainly wouldn't give him the world as a stage.

    2. I never had issues with Malta. It seemed like a great idea to put him in charge of something out of the way and free him up to write and take on speaking engagements.

  3. The idea that Abbey Roads gets right what everyone else has gotten wrong is itself quite a fantastic notion.

  4. The fact is that the vast majority of the bishops of the world continue to be very disconcerted by and very concerned regarding the Pope's manipulation of the Synod and the gay marriage agenda he personally promoted. It is clearly not simply Pope Francis' concern for faithful Catholics and their family dilemmas that has upset all of the finest princes of the Church so much that they would mobilize against the Synod agenda. It is naive to think so. There is much more at play here than a simple misunderstanding or a social media spin.

  5. What a lovely photo you have of the Cardinal. So good of him to fly in for a chat.


  6. Actions speak louder than words. I think the jury is still out. The pope has surrounded himself with a number of questionable advisers and Cardinal Burke did mention his disappointment at being removed from the Apostolic Signatura. Here's his statement from the interview with Buzzfeed:

    CB: Well, I have to say, the area in which I work is an area for which I’m prepared and I’ve tried to give very good service. I very much have enjoyed and have been happy to give this service, so it is a disappointment to leave it. On the other hand, in the church as priests, we always have to be ready to accept whatever assignment we’re given. And so I trust that by accepting this assignment, I trust that God will bless me, and that’s what’s in the end most important. And even though I would have liked to have continued to work in the Apostolic Signatura, I’ll give myself to whatever is the new work that I’m assigned to.

    Things are not always as they seem or as men state them. And in my observation, Church politics sometimes differs little from secular politics. Just look at the U.S. bishops taking BILLIONS from the culture of death thus undermining and corrupting its charities.

    So we all had better keep praying hard!

  7. "Ultramontane triumphalism often ends in despair, because when the imperfection and profound weakness of our shepherds is revealed to us, this kind of triumphalist sees what is a lamentable fact of the corruption and corruptibility of wayward men, as a contradiction at the very heart of the faith, and as a failure of Christ, who promised to sustain his Vicar and protect him from the forces of hell.

    Perhaps worse still, though, is the reaction of triumphalists who refuse to admit the imperfections and errors of the shepherds when they arise, who would insist on not just ignoring the fault, but on praising Peter for his hypocrisy, or honoring Nicolas for his heretical notions, because their fideistic confidence in the integrity of the papal reign so overwhelms reason that they must embrace everything that is done by the steward as if it were done by the king himself. This perversion of faith leads to a perversion of hope, and it manifests itself with disturbing frequency among English-language commentators on ecclesiastical affairs. "

    -E Milco, "Two Kinds of Triumphalism"


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